What is the purpose of this website?

There are two purposes to this website:

  • Help business leaders (current and emerging) succeed.
  • Help business leaders have a positive impact on society.

What is on my website?

My website has over 100,000 words of thinking, reflected in my points-of-view.  My points-of-view freely available for anyone to read and download.  I am constantly learning, and unlearning, which means the documents continue to evolve.

My points-of-view are organized into 9 sections. This links below will take you directly to each section.  There is also a section for my charitable support – the Geoff Carr Fellow at Lupus Ontario.

The following are links to sections of my website.  Each section contains my points of view.

Avoiding business failure

The startup journey

Understanding customers

Investor management

Corporate Governance

Creating business value

Strategy and strategic planning

Business transformation

Values, morals, and ethics

Charitable support – the charity I support.

What is my overall framework for looking at companies?

My overall framework has four inter-related components.  These components are valid for any type of company targeting major size, at any stage in the company’s life e.g.. a pre-revenue startup, a venture capital or private equity fund, a large long-established global company, or a company in crisis.

#1 What is the global environment?

This includes: demographics, technology, politics, the economy, climate change, etc.

#2 Who are the members of your company’s ecosystem?

This is an external perspective, focused on your company’s ecosystem. You can think about the following without any consideration of your company’s solutions and assets.

  • Members of your company’s ecosystem include: customers, employees, local communities, society, and investors. Every ecosystem member has some urgent problems and needs as well as many nice-to-haves. Ecosystem members are interacting with each other as well as your company.
  • Ecosystem members may be growing value or losing value. This depends on the degree to which their problems and needs are being met and the result of interaction with other ecosystem members.
  • Becoming or remaining a large company requires addressing the problems and needs of customers who are willing and able to pay. Your company won’t exist if cash paying customers don’t perceive that they are able to achieve some value by paying for your company’s solution.
  • Your company must be competitively differentiated in understanding your customers, and other ecosystem members, in order to create competitively differentiated solutions.
  • Your company may be creating value as well as impacting or destroying value for ecosystem members.. Your company may not be meeting the problems and needs of certain ecosystem members. Your company may be increasing ecosystem member problems and needs e.g. to increase profits your company may shut down the single factory providing all employment in a small town.
  • Short and long-term investor share price is only one target and measure of your company’s value creation.

#3 A talented and competitively differentiated leadership team.

It is your company’s competitively differentiated talent which develops competitively differentiated solutions and assets based on competitively differentiated understanding of your company’s ecosystem members.

  • Your company’s core leadership team is comprised of the board of directors, CEO, and C-Suite.
  • Warren Buffet supposedly said “You’re looking for three things, generally, in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.”
  • Perseverance and energy go-together. To become or remain a large company requires never ending battles in todays very competitive world.
  • The values, morals, and ethics of your company’s leaders are critical.
  • Your company’s success requires leaders who are competitively differentiated.
  • Your company’s leaders must be regularly acquiring deep new knowledge relevant to future success and unlearning obsolete 1 Deep ongoing and current knowledge of customers is critical. Obsolete knowledge includes: knowing how to meet customer needs from 20 years ago, knowing the best approaches used in the last century to acquire, retain, and develop employees.
  • In today’s rapidly changing world, your company leaders must have fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the capacity to think speedily and reason flexibly in order to solve new problems without relying on past experience and accumulated knowledge. For example, successful startup founders, identify problems and needs that have not been well addressed before and create solutions that have never existed before.
  • It is your company talent which: develops an understanding of the customers and other ecosystem members; creates and operates the solutions which enable customers to achieve value and which impact all the other members of your company’s ecosystem.
  • Capital availability has grown dramatically over the past 10 years, and is close to unlimited. The availability of quality talent has had little growth.  The scarcest talent of all are those people who are able to grow and develop the capabilities of others. Great teams need great coaches and advisors.

 #4 Competitively differentiated solutions and assets.

Your company’s solutions and assets include: products and services, reputation, relationships with ecosystem members, alliances and partnerships, processes, technology, intellectual property, and capital. Growing a large company and remaining a large company requires:

  • A large number of cash paying customers perceive that they can achieve more value from your solution than from the competition or the status-quo.
  • Employees would prefer to join and stay with your company rather than competitors.
  • Your company’s internal operations being competitively differentiated including: unique technology, unique processes, unique intellectual property, unique alliances and partnerships.

What are the two concepts underlying my thinking?

  • Understanding the views, beliefs, and opinions of the members of your companies ecosystem are critical. E.g. It doesn’t matter how wonderful you think your company’s solution is, if you don’t have customers who are willing and able to pay for your solution.
  • The world changes quickly. Facts may become out-of-date quickly. The members of your company’s ecosystem may change quickly and what they think and feel may change rapidly.